The Blended Value Proposition: Integrating Social and Financial Returns

by Jed Emerson
California Management Review ()


In recent years, we have witnessed: ▪ the rise of anti-globalization and alternative globalization forces calling for a “non-corporate” vision of our world’s future; ▪ a significant rise in the number of mainstream corporate CEOs discussing the social and environmental performance of their firms not as a means for advancing PR and marketing campaigns, but as a strategy for increas- ing the total value of their companies; ▪ the spread of social purpose enterprises, as nonprofit organizations launch market-based businesses pursuing social value; and ▪ the increase of discussions within various investor groups (both market- rate and philanthropic/social investors) about to how to track and assess the relative value of non-financial performance of capital investment portfolios. While it would be easy to view each of these developments as discrete activities, in fact they are all part of the same process of exploring the true nature of value. They are part of an emerging set of institutions, performance methodologies, and capital investment instruments capable of maximizing that value. They are all manifestations of the reality of the Blended Value Proposition. Exploring

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